Sustainable competitiveness for an aluminium foundry through an environmental management system in the United Kingdom

2016-03-01T16:36:47Z (GMT) by Lydia Roumegas
This thesis describes a research carried out into the introduction of an environmental management system (EMS) into an aluminium alloy foundry. The foundry, classified as a small and medium sized enterprise (SME), produces aluminium alloy castings by sand and gravity die casting processes. Its principal activities are the production of wood patterns, sand moulding, melting, machining and fettling processes. The company faces environmental pressure from government, customers and the local community. Manufacturing activities and products consume non-renewable resources and produce wastes, discharges and emissions. One way to manage those pressures and impacts is to introduce an environmental management system. The research investigates the environmental performance and impacts on a UK SME namely Hadleigh Castings Ltd, of the existing and future environmental legislation and taxation applied to the aluminium foundry, and the steps taken to introduce the EMS. These steps include policy formulation, assessment of environmental impacts, planning the environmental programme, implementation of procedures, manual, training, projects and audit to the final step of EMS review. The analysis highlights the benefits and problems arising from the introduction of an EMS. The commitment of resources was strongly dependent on external economic pressures. The preparatory review revealed non-compliance issues, which required solutions before implementation of the EMS could proceed. Achieving management commitment to change proved problematic in the face of production priorities and traditional attitudes. However, a number of benefits were identified. These included an increase in employees' awareness of environmental issues, improved working practices, the initiation of cultural change through better management and assignment of responsibility and an improved relationship with regulators.